Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Judge Belvin Perry has given himself a generous amount of time to make decisions on the motions to exclude Casey's statements to law enforcement and to her family. While we may be impatient to hear the decisions, Judge Perry is now doing what he knows best: he is making rulings that will be appeal-proof. He wants this trial heard once. He also has a formidable record when it comes to having his cases overturned. In his years as a judge, he has only had one-half of a verdict overturned on appeal. I'm sure he doesn't want to add a full case to his "loss" column. So, we will have to wait until the end of next week and we can rest assured he will make the fairest decisions possible, whether we like them or not.
We all know the testimony and the accusatory questions asked of the police officers who testified. We can remember that none of the Anthony's came out and said that they were working as Agents of the State. George testified that he felt he had been "duped" by the police into doing their bidding. Even so, he testified that his goal was to locate his granddaughter. Cindy Anthony said the same, she was looking for Caylee regardless of what the police were doing. Lee Anthony denied he was an Agent of the State; he was conducting his own investigation and freely sharing his information with the investigators. He wanted to solve the "problem".
If you were to go back to 2008 and look at the documents and voice mail messages left by Cindy Anthony, I think you will find that the family considered LE as Agents of the Anthony Family. There were so many instances of ranting about how LE wasn't doing their job in looking for Caylee. Cindy Anthony complained that the detectives on the case weren't keeping the family "in the loop" enough. They weren't giving the Anthony family everything they wanted to conduct their own investigation. Detectives Allen and Melich both testified that the family was constantly asking them to talk to Casey to get information from her. They stated that they couldn't, but the family could. They suggested ideas as to how it could have been done. It was clear back in 2008 that the Anthony's wanted LE to do their bidding. When they didn't, it was more rant and threats.
Mason was the first to speak on behalf of the defense. I have notes, but I am pretty much ignoring them since they are the same hot mess that his presentation was. Rather, I'm going to paint you a picture of Casey Anthony as portrayed by Mr. Mason by putting the various puzzle pieces of the early pieces of Mr. Mason's narrative together.
Concerning July 15 to 16, 2008, Cheney said that Casey was a young woman (later referred to as a girl) who was never Mirandized until her indictment October 14, 2008. All the statements made on these two days would need to be excluded because she hadn't been read her Miranda rights.
Her mother, Cindy, wanted her arrested. From that moment on Casey was under intense psychological pressure.
This 22 year old woman had no police record and had no contact whatsoever with law enforcement whatsoever, except that she had dated a policeman. She had "no awareness, no hard in the street kid, not somebody who had any idea of what's going on."
That evening, "at least four deputies arrived, all in full regalia, uniforms, badges, guns, cartridge belts, etc."
Those bits and pieces of information are what Cheney Mason wanted the judge to see of poor Casey. Take the previous four paragraphs and tell me where there are mis-statements or half-truths! It's sort of a "what's wrong with this picture" game.
Mason continued with his long, rambling speech, which I will not attempt to duplicate or summarize here. However, as he spoke, there were more "half-truths" and "misstatements".
She was briefly interviewed and then handcuffed and led out to deputy Acevedo's patrol car and put in the "cage" leaving her a prisoner. Then, she was driven around to Sawgrass. "with another deputy in full regalia, who followed in another car." The other deputy, Fletcher came up to Acevedo's car and interviewed her, again without Miranda about the "nanny scenario."
Mason then explained that Sgt. Hosey took her for a walk when she got back. (Nasty comment about Hosey here about his not remembering much other that the contents of that conversation.) At that point Casey was un-arrested.
At this point, Judge Perry interrupted Mason to ask when the handcuffs were removed. According to Mason, the record was unclear about that. However, Mason went back to the fact that even before she was handcuffed, she was in a psychological situation where her mother was yelling at her and the deputy was "holding" her to write a statement. (I suppose that Mason wanted to get across that she was psychologically handcuffed from the get-go.)
I'm leaving out any more snarky comments here because I do want to give you a chance to pick them out and comment on them for yourselves.
In essence, this was the body of Mason's argument. He also discussed the family members as being Agents of the State. It was a summation of the defense testimony presented with plenty of digs at the misbehavior of the detectives who ensnared the family into acting as Agents of the State.
There was some discussion of case law Mason had provided to the judge and it was the State's turn.
Linda Burdick (for sake of brevity, I will use the name she refers to herself by) responded with a detailed time line of the events. She calmly presented it and went on to argue the State's position on both the issues. Again, no details here, because we all heard or read about the testimony. I would like to include her time line, however, to help you in the "what's wrong with the picture" game that was Cheney Mason's presentation. Burdick, indeed started out by stating that there were fundamental disagreements with the facts which have been taken completely out of context and mixed up.
1. 911 Call: 8:28 PM (stolen vehicle)
2. Arrival of Cpl. Fletcher: 9:43 PM
3. Final 911 Call: Contemporaneous with last 911 call
4. Arrival of Dep. Acevedo: 9:52 PM
LE's main occupation was gathering information from the members of the Anthony family.
When Dep. Acevedo put Casey in her patrol car, she informed Casey she did not have to go with her. Casey went voluntarily to help identify the last place Caylee was seen.
5. Dep. Acevedo and Casey went to Sawgrass Apartments.
When Casey was returned to the home, she was free to do as she pleased.
6. Ryan Eberlin takes Casey's statement at 1:05 AM
The handcuffing incident When released, Casey was allowed to return to her house and even spent an hour alone in her room. (George Anthony keeps wagging his head "no" to everything at this point.)
By correcting Mason about the time line of events, Burdick shows the judge that her initial statement to LE (not the handwritten one) was made prior to the handcuffing and therefore should be admitted in trial. Between that and the 911 call, the Zanny story is there.
The remainder of the State's argument dealt with whether Casey was in custody during her trip to Universal and that there are rulings considering this. Burdick read a bit from Casey's phone call home after she was arrested, indicating that she had been arrested on an "effen whim". Casey, she stated, could clearly stand up for herself!
As far as the Agent of the State was concerned, Burdick just had to recap the testimony of the three Anthony family members. We will have to wait for Robyn Adams and Sylvia Hernandez until the defense has the opportunity to depose them.
Burdick continued on with her time line oriented presentation and went through, in exquisite detail the events of the evening.
I must also say that she cited some wonderful case law. In the two cases she cited in depth, it was clear to see that the situations in both were very parallel to the case here. It is in part 4 of the video.
This case is complicated because the fact is, it is difficult to say when Casey went from being a witness to the alleged kidnapping of her daughter by the so-called nanny to murder suspect. Cheney Mason made no differentiation between Casey's arrest for child abuse and lying to police and her murder indictment. If Mason were to be believed, Casey was a murder suspect the instant Cindy Anthony made her final 911 call.
In 2008, Jose Baez certainly signaled that it would eventually become a murder case when he refused to let Casey talk to anyone about finding her daughter, Caylee. He also indicated that Casey had her reasons and we would all understand at trial. It was then that I realized Caylee was no longer alive.
I look forward to hearing your responses to the "what's wrong with the picture" game!